Castle, Philip E. PhD, MPH; Fetterman, Barbara SCT (ASCP); Thomas Cox, J.; Shaber, Ruth MD; Poitras, Nancy ACS, PMP; Lorey, Thomas MD; Kinney, Walter MD
BACKGROUND: To estimate the relationship of human papillomavirus (HPV) detection and abnormal cytology with histologic diagnoses of cervical precancer and cancer.
METHODS: From 2003 to 2008 we examined the HPV, cytology, and diagnostic results from almost one million cervical cancer screenings done on women aged 30 and older who were members in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large health maintenance organization that introduced cotesting in 2003. Women were screened using conventional Pap tests and a DNA test for a pool of 13 high-risk HPV genotypes. Women with HPV-positive atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and other abnormal cervical cytology, independent of their HPV results, routinely underwent colposcopy. Results were stratified by 5-year age groups from 30 to 64.
RESULTS: High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H), and atypical glandular cells were more strongly associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 while low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) and HPV-positive atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance were more strongly associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2). Cervical cancer was most commonly found in women with HSIL and atypical glandular cells cytology. Human papillomavirus–negative women with ASC-H cytology were at a reduced but significant risk of CIN2 or more severe (CIN2+) (10.6%) compared with HPV-positive women with ASC-H cytology. Human papillomavirus–negative women with LSIL were at a 4.0% risk of CIN2+, and among women 50 and older, at a 0.5% risk of CIN2+ with no cancers were diagnosed.
CONCLUSION: Human papillomavirus testing may be useful for triage for colposcopic referral for LSIL cytology in older women but not for ASC-H cytology at any age.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II